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some easy gardening help needed please

Discussion in 'Personal' started by tartetatin, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    I'm not at all greenfingered, so hopefully someone here can help.
    We are currently getting our garden done. I've asked the gardeners to leave a couple of small areas unpaved, in order to break up the look a bit. I plan to fill these gaps with decorative pebbles and a few potted plants as well as one tree in a pot.
    Here's where your help comes in [​IMG] I'm unsure as to which potted plants and tree to choose. It MUST be something low maintenance and hardy (we're in Scotland!), which won't grow too much. I'm not too bothered about something very beautiful that produces loads of flowers. Durability and simplicity are key!
    I saw a potted bay tree in a florist's the other day and thought that looked lovely, but I have no idea if that's a practical option. I guess I'm looking for the sort of decorative tree that people have in a pot at their front door.
    Your replies would be much appreciated. I think our lovely gardeners are secretly getting a wee bit impatient with me for not knowing what I want, but we've recently had lots on our plate.
    Thanks for your help x
  2. Go to your local garden centre (a proper local one, not Dobbies) and ask them for plants. You will get a chance to actually look at stuff and they will be able to tell you if something is genuinely hardy for where you live. Many "hardy" plants won't survive in Scotland as UK hardy seems to mean that they'll be OK in Jersey under a fleece! I'd recommend a twisted willow for something slow growing and low maintenance that'll be interesting all year round.
  3. Meant to say - I'm in the NE and my potted bay didn't make it through last winter.
  4. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    That's good to know, thanks airy. The last thing I want is to shell out for a bay tree, for it to die a few months later!

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Contorted hazel is great in a pot - in the summer you get lots of leaves smothering it and in the winter you get bare, twisted branches and ***** willows. I love mine but wish I'd put it in a pot instead of straight into the ground.
    Go to the garden centre to select some perennials for the other pots...lavendar is good - it's a pity it's a bit early for spring bulbs because you could stick them in too for all year round interest.
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Trees shouldn't be grown in pots.

    It's like keeping an eagle in a budgie cage ...
  7. Oops - that's what I meant rather than twisted willow.
  8. Unfortunately bay trees aren't reliably hardy in the north! How about a rowan? They are as tough as old boots and you'll attract birds into the garden with the flowers and berries.
  9. Having said that, why are you wanting to grow the tree in a pot? Could you not plant the tree in open ground and surround it with gravel?
  10. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Thanks for the great ideas. I will look into them all. The twisted tree looks ideal.
    I thought a potted tree would be best as our garden is really pretty small and something too big would look a bit odd. Also because we've had our garden completely tiled (rubbishy new-build grass that never did take properly, despite our best efforts) I'm not sure I could now grow a tree in the ground.
    I can see though that a pot isn't a particularly ideal growing environment for a tree ...
    As I said, I wanted something decorative to break up the look of the garden and introduce a bit of interest and greenery.
    Thanks again :eek:)
  11. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

  12. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Also, is reed or bamboo a more durable screening for the ugly chain wire fence at the bottom of our garden? Would creeper plants be able to climb up both?
    Thank you once again.
  13. Bamboo isn't hardy in all parts of Scotland. It'll survive in sheltered positions but the problem there is that it is HIGHLY invasive. It spreads like grass by sending out long "runner" roots so it really is best in a large pot. Looking at your picture, I'd recommend a small cherry tree and some ornamental grasses.
  14. I would go for bamboo . . .

    I am based in central Scotland with a small garden and an allotment. Just like the rest of the UK, Scotland itself has a hugely varying climate so there will be no hard and fast rules. We had a small bay tree in a pot which did really well througout most of the hardest spell of winter (-15 for a week) but died in February as I think it had been weakened.
    You could go for some sort of buxus which should be very hardy and can be trimmed nicely. In the picture, they have various ornamental grasses - nice and easy to get a hold of.
    what about a mini weeping willow? That should be fine in a pot.
    Like another poster said, go to a good local garden centre and ask to speak to someone. They will know the local climate and will be able to advise you.
    It did occur to me that seeing as you don't want to do much in the way of care, maybe invest in a good quality fake bay.

  15. ah, I misunderstood. I thought the OP meant like a frame made of bamboo not actual bamboo plants.
  16. Ooh, maybe she did. Oops.
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    You could, of course, just plant a willow (contorted or weeping) in the ground in one of your gaps, surround it in pebbles and keep it reasonably well watered (not difficult in Scotland) and it would do fine. Willows do fine in pots if the pot is big enough. Alternatively some sort of evergreen might work.
  18. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    The pics are very nice but ... there is no way that tree in that pot will stay standing in anything stronger than a light breeze and there's an awful lot of watering to be done there. You need to think shorter and drought tolerant.
    There are lots of ideas and plenty of good advice here and related links: http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/pots-containers/category/spring/
  19. Evergreens need clipped or they look dreadful.
  20. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    Willows are lovely, but beware - they grow and can ruin drains - as ours did! It depends on the size of your garden etc.
    Have a walk around your area - assuming you're not in a remote spot and see what grows well in the soil type.

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